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Professor speaks out: Segregated dorms must not be tolerated

A growing trend on campuses nationwide is to offer segregated housing for students of color. Those who choose to live in such accommodations call it a safe space. Administrators who allow the living arrangements brush off concerns about their segregated nature by saying they’re open to everyone.

Segregated dorms are wrong and should be stopped. Studies show segregating people hurts diversity. And segregated housing stands against everything the Civil Rights movement fought for.

Now one California professor is calling out University of California regents and California State University trustees for allowing these segregated dorms to exist.

The column, written by assistant professor of accounting at Chapman University Hank Adler, is headlined: “California regents, trustees and elected officials M.I.A. in university housing controversy.”

Adler writes in part:

The game plan for creation of segregated housing on campus is follows: The Black Student Union demands alternative housing for black students because of racially insensitive remarks and micro-aggressions on campus; a university committee is formed and agrees to provide the requested segregated housing; the segregated housing is made available by the university in the following semester; the segregated housing unit is given a non-multi-cultural welcoming name such as the Black Scholars Hall at UCI, the Afro House at Berkeley or the Halisi Scholars Black Living-Learning Community at CSULA; a necessary pledge to live in this segregated housing requires each student to agree to participate in a multitude of cultural activities involving a single race and having nothing to do with their academic regimen; finding a university administrator to state “This community is open to all students. This living-learning community focuses on academic excellence and learning experiences that are inclusive and non-discriminatory”; and university administrators insuring that the university will refuse to collect and/or provide the racial makeup of any of the segregated housing units.

If segregation were the answer to diversity and inclusion, millions of Americans had it wrong during the Civil Rights movement. If segregation were the answer to diversity and inclusion, George Wallace must not have been completely wrong when he stood in the doorway of the University of Alabama in 1963 and tried to keep blacks from enrolling. But millions of Americans had it right and Wallace was a despicable bigot. Segregation in campus housing is no more right today when demanded by minority groups than it was right in 1963 when demanded by a white majority. Shame on our universities.

In a meeting regarding the issue of segregated housing at UCI, I discovered that the rationalization for these new housing policies is a fascinating definition of segregation. Segregation is not “the action or state of setting someone or something apart from other people or things or being set apart” as defined by Google and de facto segregation is not as shown by example by Dictionary.com: “For example, often the concentration of African Americans in certain neighborhoods produces neighborhood schools that are predominantly black, or segregated in fact (de facto), although not by law (de jure).” Segregation was defined by a senior UCI administrator as only the opportunity to participate and a result of 90 or 100 percent black or white members of a housing facility is not segregation and is not an issue of social concern. Wow.

…There is a public responsibility for both governing bodies of California’s public universities as well as the state and national government to insure that actions such as segregated housing are not tolerated either in the general housing stock or at our universities.

Read the full column.

MORE — Black Harvard professor: Giving minorities safe spaces does more harm than good

MORE: Students of color embrace segregated spaces

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